Saturday, November 15, 2014

I like this one better.....

It is sixty-three by eighty and almost as busy as the OBW.  This is strictly a stash quilt.  I did not purchase any fabric for this.  Yes, it is true, I carried the narrow white and wider dark green border over from the OBW.  Actually, I decided on these borders first.  

I wanted to use the Wittenberge 201.  What a nice machine.  It is so quiet.  It took me a while to get it set up in the treadle stand.  The coil spring belt worked great for the 15-90 but it was too tight for the 201.  The machine worked, but it was just too much effort to treadle.  If I want to switch these machines back and forth, I guess I will have to replace the coil spring belt with one that is just a bit longer.  I found a leather belt, set it up and went to work.  What a nice machine.

 It is so quiet.  The Necchi is a thunker (must have something to do with the mounting in the cabinet.)  The 15-90 also clunks along, but I forgive it because it will go through anything. This 201 is almost silent.  It is a pleasure to use. 


I am now ready to quilt.  I have been practicing swirls with paper and pencil.  I suck.

I watched this video (for some reason it will not load to Blogger directly from YOUTUBE.)

She demonstrates this on a table.  I will use my frame.

There is another demo using the frame.

Next up, getting the 24 ready so that I can use it to chain stitch the leaders to the quilt. I suppose I could use the Wilcox and Gibbs.  Now, there's an idea. 


OK.  So I had to publish the post before I could see how the video came out.  I must be somewhat deaf.  The machine is much quieter in real life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hard to tell.....

if it is any better with borders. 
I guess I will just have to wait and see how it quilts out. 

The DNP is just as busy, but less disagreeable, probably because of the variety of color.
It is bigger.  Seventy-seven by fifty-one. 

Both will be ready for the quilt frame by the weekend.  That means I will be setting the frame up again.  We tucked it away in September when we used the apartment for guests.

I would love to finish the OBW.  Then I can do something fun. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


I wish I were in love with this quilt.  I am not.  It includes my favorite colors but I don't like Christmas fabric.  True, I selected it.  I was going for a twenty four inch repeat and the price was right.  When the piece arrived, I found that it has a twelve inch repeat. According to the book, a twenty four inch repeat is ideal.  I could have cut twice the strips, but I chose to make a throw.  Mostly I wanted to experiment with this pattern. 

There is no straight edge when you work with hexagons. Your choice: remove a half hexagon or add a half hexagon to fill in the open spaces along the edge.  I chose to fill in the spaces.  Thus,  the very edge, every other row, has no match.   Follow the rows and you can see the pattern in each block.  I think this quilt might have benefited from some half triangles in between each block.  Too late now.

As I was about to piece the fourth column to the first three, I noticed a mistake. Luckily,  I only had to  partially rip out the seam between the BA strip and the A strip.  I then had to remove the  B and A hexagons from the rest of that strip and flip them around.  WHEW.

There is another mistake. It is subtle and I did not fix it. Since I don't throw up when I look at it, I figure it isn't that bad.  But I do wish that I had noticed it before piecing.  

Border decision time.  I will add half triangles to the top and bottom to create a straight edge.  I think that I will have to use green.  I hope I have something that will match.  Then I plan to sew on a narrow, white border.  I think that the outer border will be a some of the original fabric.  No getting around it,  this is a Christmas quilt. 

When adding the half triangles, it is helpful to know that this is the plan ahead of time.  That way, you can sew the half triangles to the hexagons before sewing them into strips.  I learned the hard way.

201 Madness

Even though I said that cleaning the bobbin case and hook area of the 201D is a morning project, I didn't get to it until after noon on Saturday.

I became distracted.  I have two sets of cabinet drawers.  One set came from a school cabinet.  The other set, I believe, actually came from the treadle cabinet that I refurbished a couple of years ago.  I painted the top green but left the drawers off.  I decided that I can never really sell it because it is just too rough.  So I decided to keep it.  Don't tell Steven.  Well, hell, he will find out anyway, when I ask for his help moving it back up to the sewing loft.  We just did a switcheroo with a different stand (7 drawers) a month ago.  

I attached the school drawers to the cabinet top and fastened the back onto the top as well.  That dang piece has been kicking around here for too long.  I was either going to use it or turn it into firewood. 

 (Please note: Frannie rarely tolerates Wrigley in such close proximity.)

I know it looks a little funky, but at least that cabinet back piece is where it belongs.  I may, one day, paint the drawers green too.  They need some gluing, but for now, are functional.   The  201 in the background  is the one I  re-homed yesterday.   ("Oh good,  only 99 to go, commented the DH). I changed some of its tension parts and had to test the stitch again.  Gotta say, changing those parts helped.  The stitch is much nicer now. 

The 201D makes a lovely stitch, too.  Isn't that what it's all about?  That is why I have so much trouble.  I love them all.   As I was threading it I realized that I had not cleaned the tension assy.  It is a bit different from the common Singer assy.  I don't think that I will take it apart.  I may just run a dollar bill between the discs.  It sews wonderfully well, so maybe I won't need to clean it at all. Oh hell, yes I will.  You know I will.

I also fixed the bobbin winder problem.  I found a slightly larger BW tire.  DUH.

By two o'clock I was ready for lunch and some sewing.  It is cold enough to require heat in the sewing loft.  I had a fire in the shop and one in the house.  Three's a charm?  I don't think so.  I took my design wall, covered it with a sheet and schlepped it into the house.  I placed it right next to my 201-2 and set to work sewing those hexagons together.

 Point to point.

Piecing a quilt is tedious work saved only by the pleasure of seeing how the design emerges.  The strips on the left are sewn together in twos.  I think that once they are all sewn together, the pattern might emerge.  It was not the best choice of fabric for the OBW.  (The strips on the right are not yet sewn together.  )  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Singer 201D.

The Singer Sewing Machine Factory at Wittenberge was constructed in 1903.   Thirty six years later, most of the factory was devoted to military production.  In 1946 the factory was stripped by the Russians.

I would have to conclude that this machine was made sometime, therefore, before 1946.
I almost didn't get it.  A woman contacted me via the blog and offered this machine to me.  Since she was in metropolitan NY I knew that I could not fetch it.  I suggested that she contact Rain of The vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog.  I forwarded her email to him and he offered to fetch it for me if I wanted it.  There's a no brainer.  Since Rain sometimes travels upstate a bit, we made arrangements to meet so that I could fetch it from him.  Lucky me.

I like the machine.  Sure, it's just another 201 but I don't have a badge like this on any of my other machines.  Come to think of it, I think the only Centennial I have is the 201K that is about to be re-homed (I hope, I hope).  Somehow, the Centennial Badge doesn't hold the same mystique that this one holds. 

I am almost ready to test it.  I cleaned the gears (oh ICK)

 and freed up the Bobbin Winder and the feed dog drop.   A spoke wheel does fit, sort of.  The bobbin winder doesn't work unless there is a rubber band  installed on the wheel.  You can see it in the photo.  I like a spoked wheel on a treadle machine; more heft.  Plus, it is prettier.

The other gears were not nearly as awful.  A little Kero and new Triflow grease and they are good to go. 

The hook and bobbin case require attention.  That is a job for first thing in the morning.  Right after I light  fires in the shop and the sewing loft.  Winter arrives tomorrow.  Drat.

Never Can Say Goodbye

Perhaps, if I am lucky, this 201K will find a new home soon.

I try not to be too sentimental.  I bought this machine almost two years ago.  Max and I were visiting Mom.  I was coveting a 201 I could treadle.  I found it on Asheville Craigslist.  Max didn't really roll his eyes when I told him about going up to West Asheville to fetch it. He went along willingly.

"Let's go to Malaprop's Book Store while we are there."  We even had lunch.

I had no intention of ever letting this machine go.   This  past summer I acquired a 201D made at the Wittenberge factory.  It isn't in much better cosmetic shape.  It might be more unique, though I doubt rare.  The stitch length plate is metric.  So I decided that of the two, the 201K was the one to go.

I put it in the cute, little, wooden treadle stand and tried it out.  Smooth machine with a nice stitch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The Necchi Foot controller did not work.  I installed a new, after market, and generic foot  controller. (Oxford comma, corrected). It came with my South River parts.

I was sewing along happily but noticed a hum despite no pressure on the controller.  It sure sounded like a sewing machine motor hum.  I thought, perhaps, it might be the fluorescent (shoot I should have left fluorescent misspelled for someone I know)  lights.  I turned them off.  There are four in the sewing loft.

I still heard the hum.

I leaned way into the Necchi.  It most certainly was the motor.  Drat.  I unplugged it and picked up the foot controller.  It was hot.  Very hot. Extremely hot.  Too hot to handle.  Double drat.

I did not want to mess with fixing a foot controller.  I wanted to sew.  Triple Drat.

I found a Singer button foot controller, removed it's wires and took the "new" controller off of the Necchi. It had cooled by this time.

As soon as I looked at it I understood the problem.  The connection was not, well, disconnecting despite my removing my foot COMPLETELY from the controller each time I stopped sewing.  The dang thing is crap; poorly made.  I was unable to make any correction or adjustment.

The Singer foot controller works well.  It is a bit stiff.  Maybe I will fix that sometime but not now.  I want to sew.